Frankly, Cobourg is Franklin in Linda Hutsell-Manning’s novel “That Summer In Franklin”. While it is a novel, the stuff of imagination, the 350-page story has many locations and buildings recognizable to those familiar with the area.
“Oh, yes, it is Cobourg,” Hutsell-Manning readily admits. “I removed Victoria Hall, but the Britannia Hotel (of the novel) is where the old post office was (the southeast corner of King and Division Streets). I put it there as a homage to the post office.”
The novel narrates the lives of two woman, Colleen and Hanna, now in their mid-life years, whose paths once again intersect as they puzzle events of a fatality dating back to a summer they worked as waitresses in the elegant Britannia Hotel.
Hutsell-Manning, who has been writing for decades, has had children’s stories, plays short stories, poetry and articles published. That Summer In Franklin is her first adult novel. It’s genesis was two short stories she first worked on in the 1990s. She sent the stories out time and again and met with many rejection slips. She opted to combine the characters of Colleen and Hanna in one novel, finished the work, and ultimately, Second Story Press accepted the manuscript for publication.
As fate often directs, shortly thereafter both of the original short stories were also accepted for publication to some acclaim.
“A lot of the characters have aspects of me,” Hutsell-Manning says. She did, for example, work as a waitress as the former British Hotel in Cobourg during her Grade 11, 12 years and then at Marie Dressler House when in Grade 13 — “but I never had a guy who harassed me.”
Readers will spot the late Cobourg town councillor and owner of Marie Dressler House, Lena Field-Fisher, as the basis of a character in That Summer in Franklin.
“Port Turner is Port Hope and Spider Lake is Rice Lake,” Hutsell-Manning relates. “Where Colleen lives is the farm where we once lived near Baltimore. But I changed the house.”
The old Cobourg hospital plays a part, as does the Golden Plough Lodge, both under different guises.
For an author — actually, for most artisans — the hometown crowd can be the toughest. Hutsell-Manning was quite nervous when she gave a close personal friend the manuscript for review. Would the friend, she worried, be put in a tough spot if the novel was disliked? Hutsell-Manning needn’t have worried: the book passed muster.
“My dear Aunt Gladys, who was 96 last year, told me for years she didn’t like Canadian fiction because it was so depressing. I sent her a copy. She did read it, phoned me and told me it had great integrity! The Aunt Harriet in the novel is my Aunt Gladys, not physically, but in spirit.”
Hutsell-Manning is pleased male readers are also complimentary of the novel.
The publication and response to the novel “has been fairly exciting”, Hutsell-Manning says, but the euphoria is gradually waning. She’s been out on book tours and has four readings next month. The pressure now is for a follow-up.
“People have been asking for a sequel,” she says. “I’m not sure there is one, although perhaps I’ll set another one in Franklin and Colleen and Hanna will recur as peripheral characters.”
Enjoy an evening with Linda Hutsell-Manning this Friday, Sept. 23, 78 p.m. at the Colborne Legion, 92 King St. E. in Colborne. She will read from her works, then answer questions and visit with attendees. There is no admission, but donations to the Colborne Food Bank are appreciated. This is the third in an on-going series of evenings with Northumberland County authors being hosted by the Colbormne Legion.
[flagallery gid=24 name="Gallery"]COLBORNE — The annual Colborne Legion golf tourney was held at Salt Creek Golf Links Sunday, Sept. 18. Forty-five golfers thwacked away over nine holes. Following golf, putting contest and opportunity to buy raffle tickets on $500 worth of gift certificates, everyone returned to the Colborne Legion for a steak and burger barbecue lunch. The Cramahe Township municipal team won for lowest score: members Mayor Marc Coombs, Director of Operations Dan O’Brien, Deputy Mayor Jim Williams and Morris Coombs.
The highest (or, as they say, the most honest) scoring team consisted of members John Ton, Azher Hussain, Dave Singleton and Bob Andrews.
Legion member Brenda Graham was presented her beer-y nice case for her shot closest to the case by head organizer John Fox.
Men’s longest drive was won by Marc Coombs
Marsha Runciman won women’s longest drive.
Bill Lutton won the putting contest.
Ed Penfold held the winning ticket for the $500 in gift cards.
Fall feast! It’s apples and roast pork for our Sept. 16 mid-month dinner. Roast pork loin simmered in apple juice with mashed potatoes, parsnip and carrot medley, spinach salad with apples and blueberry vinagrette dressing plus a lemon mousse for dessert will be sure to whet — and satiate — your appetite. Just $10 per person serving 5 to 6:30 p.m..
There’s a BID euchre tournament the first Sunday of every month at Colborne Legion. Sunday, Oct. 2, register ($5 per player) by noon for an afternoon of play. Great prizes to be won! Light munchies served, too!
You can mix and match $500 worth of gift certificates if you win our Mix and Match draw! Win $500 worth of pre-paid “gift cards” for a whole host of name retailers. The cards never expire and you get the full cash value for the amounts. Among the many retailers included are Canadian Tire (including gas), No Frills (including gas), Your Independent Grocer, Metro, Home Hardware, Ultramar, Staples, Winners, Giant Tiger, Kelsey’s, Mark’s Work Warehouse, and so on.
What a great way boost your fall budget! Draw tickets are $5 each or three for $10. See the bar steward or contact a Colborne Legion member for tickets. The winning ticket will be drawn Sunday, Sept. 18.
Tee time! The 19th annual Branch 187 Mixed Golf Tournament will be held Sunday, Sept. 18 at Salt Creek Golf Links. This is a nine-hole, shotgun start morning. For just $35 per person you get nine holes of golf, prizes and a meal (steak or hamburger) served back at the Colborne Legion. Carts are $7 extra. Everyone welcome! For more information, call the Colborne Legion at 905.355.5479.
Our first regular roast beef dinner of the fall will be Friday, Oct. 7. Think thanksgiving fare for the extra touches — a pumpkin dessert, fresh, roasted fall veggies, salad, condiments et all, still just $10 per person, including tea and coffee, serving 5 to 6:30 p.m..
Our wonderful padre, the Rev. Barbara Anne Ramer, will be ordained into the ministry at a special service Saturday, Oct. 15 at Missionary Prospect Church in Colborne. All Legion members — in fact, the whole community locally and beyond! — are most welcome to attend this very special event. very special event.
Comrade Don Prentice, a veteran who is a past president of Colborne Legion, a Life Member and the only member of this branch to receive the Meritorious Service Medal, is marking a very special event with wife Ada on October 16. It’s the 65th (!!!) wedding anniversary of Don and Ada Prentice, and also the 165th anniversary of Trinity Anglican Church in Colborne, where Don and Ada are members. All are welcome to attend the 11 a.m. service at the church that day. Don Prentice earned his honours through his dedication and service, service given not for self but because it was needed. Someone needed to do it so he did. Don served on the battlefields of Europe. He served in many positions in the Legion including on Zone. He has, for many years, spearheaded the Christmas Hampter program and run the Colborne Food Bank. He has been Colborne’s Citizen of the Year, and was the first recipient of the random acts of kindness award in this community. And he loves a party!
No labour on Labour Day weekend! Saturday, Sept. 3, our annual steak and hamburger barbecue will be served from 5 to 6:30 p.m.. This replaces our regular first-Friday-of-the-month roast beef dinner. You have the option of either a steak dinner plate for $12 per person or a hamburger plate for $8 per person. Remember: our hamburgers are homemade. The dinner includes fresh corn on the cob and tomatoes from Rutherford’s, baked beans, fried onions, tossed salad, baked potato and a yummy homemade dessert, coffee, tea and ice water.